Paul J. Pantano Jr.

Partner

Washington
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
1875 K Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006-1238
T 202 303 1211
F 202 303 2211
ppantanowillkie.com

Paul J. Pantano, Jr. focuses his practice in the areas of energy, commodities and derivatives law. He represents energy companies, commodity and swap dealers, brokerage firms and trade associations in a wide variety of transactional, regulatory, investigative and litigation matters. 

Paul regularly represents clients in investigations and regulatory matters before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and commodity exchanges.

Chambers USA (2019) ranks Paul Nationwide in Band 1 for Energy: Electricity (Regulatory & Litigation), and Band 2 for Capital Markets: Derivatives, and he is recognized on the “Spotlight Table” for Derivatives: Mainly Regulatory. Chambers Global 2019 ranks him in Band 1 for Energy: Electricity (Regulatory & Litigation) USA and in Band 2 for Capital Markets: Derivatives USA. Paul was recognized, based on a peer review process, as Lawyer of the Year for Derivatives and Futures Law in Washington, DC by Best Lawyers for 2018. He is also ranked in Who’s Who Legal: Energy 2018.

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Highlights

Paul J. Pantano, Jr. focuses his practice in the areas of energy, commodities and derivatives law. He represents energy companies, commodity and swap dealers, brokerage firms and trade associations in a wide variety of transactional, regulatory, investigative and litigation matters. 

Selected Significant Matters

Government Investigations

  • Represented scores of wholesale energy and commodity dealers, merchants, producers and end users in CFTC, FERC and joint CFTC-FERC investigations, several of which were closed without the initiation of enforcement actions

  • Negotiated many settlements with the CFTC, FERC and exchanges on behalf of energy and commodity trading companies

Acquisitions

  • Represented several international financial institutions in selling their commodities businesses
  • Represented the power marketing affiliate of an international financial institution in connection with the sale of its U.S. power and natural gas trading business to an affiliate of a major international oil company
  • Represented J. Aron & Company/Goldman Sachs in acquiring the international commodity trading business of Constellation Energy Commodities Group, Inc.
  • Represented Merrill Lynch in negotiating a complex financing and tax-equity investment commitment for the construction of a series of geothermal power plants
  • Represented Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Merrill Lynch Commodities, Inc. in their acquisition of Entergy-Koch Trading, LP
  • Represented Morgan Stanley in acquisitions of several portfolios of physical and financially-settled energy commodity transactions

Structured Transactions

  • Represents financial institutions in structured intermediation arrangement, commodities repurchase agreements, and secured hedging transactions
  • Represents Merrill Lynch in negotiating a complex financing and tax- equity investment commitment for the construction of a series of geothermal power plants
  • Represents commodity suppliers and hedge providers in long-term prepaid commodity purchase and sale transactions

* Paul advised on these matters at his prior firm.

Prior Experience

Prior to entering private practice, Paul was a trial attorney in the Division of Enforcement of the CFTC, where he represented the commission in numerous civil and administrative enforcement actions.

Selected Professional and Business Activities

Paul is a past chair of the American Bar Association Committee on Derivatives and Futures Law. He is a member of the Energy Bar Association, the Law & Compliance Division of the Futures Industry Association and a former adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School, where he co-taught a graduate law course on the regulation of commodity and derivatives transactions. He is a member of the Duke Law Alumni Board of Visitors.

Selected Publications and Lectures

  • “To Spoof or Not to Spoof? The DOJ Answers the Question” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (January 2019)

  • “The Best Defense is a Good Offense: A Practical Framework for Analyzing and Documenting Transactions and Trading Strategies to Limit Regulatory Liability” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (April 2017)

  • “Non-Prosecution Agreements Are the New Black: The Latest Trend Under the CFTC’s New Enforcement Regime” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (October 2017)

  • “Ground Hog Day: How Position Limits and the Dodd-Frank Act Tried to Ruin One of My All-Time Favorite Movies” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (July 2015)

  • “Energy Commodities: The Netherworld Between FERC and CFTC Jurisdiction” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (March 2013)

  • “Navigating the World of Renewable Energy” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (May 2009)

  • “Is the FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Jurisdiction Boundless?” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (October 2007)

  • “FERC’s New Anti-Manipulation Regime for Electricity and Natural Gas Transactions: Mixing Apples and Oranges” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (March 2006)

  • “Cooperating with Government Investigations: ‘You Say Cooperate, I Say Cooperhate” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (January 2004)

  • “Concurrent Investigations by the CFTC and the FERC Into Alleged Power and Natural Gas Price Manipulation: Who’s on First?” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (January 2003)

  • “Trading Telecommodities” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (February 2001)

  • “Electric Power: Managing Legal Risk in a New Commodity Market” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (April 1999)

  • Favorite “Courts Decline to Use Hindsight to Find a Future” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (November 1997)

  • “Judicial Inquiry Ordered into Alleged Improper Contacts Between Enforcement and the Commission” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (July/August 1997)

  • “Hybrid Hedge-to-Arrive Contracts: Are They Exempt From CFTC Jurisduction?” Futures and Derivatives Law Report (October 1996)

Publications / News / Events

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